Child trafficking still rampant in Malawi

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Eye of the Child has said child trafficking is still rampant in the country and is being fuelled by poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness and lack of resources.

The organisation established this through research which was conducted in 2008 and was supported by the ministry of gender, International Labour Organisation, UNICEF and Malawi Human Rights Resources Centre, which commissioned the Millennium Centre for Research and Development (MCRD) to carry out the study.

Malawians were trafficking using this van last year.

According to a report which has been released this year, poverty, cheap labour, and lack of parental support are thought to be the most prominent factors perpetrating child trafficking in the country.

And it has also discovered that 30 percent of victims of child trafficking are under the age of 13 while 70 percent are teenagers.

Like other countries in Africa, Malawi has been found to be lacking a strong legal structure to stop or punish offenders.

According to the report, of 58 cases of child trafficking that were reported in the study, 18 of the traffickers went to court representing 31 percent of the cases. Of the 18 traffickers that were brought to court, only 9 traffickers were convicted and sentenced.

To combat child trafficking, Eye of the Child founded the Malawi Network against Child Trafficking with support from UNICEF and the ministry of gender.

The organisation together with other organisations has been conducting various awareness campaigns in primary schools across the country in order to educate children on the dangers of child trafficking.

Last year, 57 Malawian children were found in a van by South African Police.

The 57 children, 18 girls and 39 boys, survived hell on Tuesday after South African police in Rustenburg, North Western Province intercepted a truck that was transporting them. They were then taken to a safe place where they are being taken care of.

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